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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2007


NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY STATES SUPPORT FOR
VIRGINIA’S SPACEFLIGHT LIABILITY AND IMMUNITY ACT

Bill expected for vote on Virginia Senate Floor on Wednesday

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Space Society announced its strong support for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act (HB 3184).  This bill, which would be the first of its kind to be passed by any state legislature, removes one of the significant obstacles to the growth of the fledgling suborbital spaceflight industry, and would put Virginia in a leadership position.

The bill requires commercial spaceflight participants to sign an informed consent statement acknowledging that they are aware of the personal risk involved in spaceflight, and that the state of Virginia grants the flight provider protection from liability, except in cases of gross negligence or disregard for safety.

“The principle of calculated risk is the basis for many of the most important advances that humanity has ever made,” said the Executive Director of NSS, George Whitesides.  

“This forward-thinking bill will rocket Virginia to the forefront of the new commercial spaceflight industry.”

 “Like the pioneers who came before them, some people will find the rewards of spaceflight worth the risk, and they should be free to do so.  Every flight will build the experience necessary to make spaceflight safer and more affordable for everyone.”

NSS hopes that the bill will receive a favorable vote in the Virginia Senate on Wednesday. The society will support similar legislation in other states working to attract space businesses.

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